If you have thousands of dollars to spend on your wedding dress, and it fits into your wedding budget, you may just want to hire a couture designer (such as Val Stefani) to design your dress. This is a very exciting step forward in your plans, but you should know what to expect before you hire a designer. By knowing in advance what you should expect, you can relax and feel less stressed and/or less frustrated (both of which you definitely need to do when planning a wedding!).
Not All Designers Are Taking Private Clients
Even if your preferred designer lives in the same city as you do (i.e., New York, Paris, etc.), he or she may not take private clients and one-time requests regardless of what you are willing to pay. Be prepared to accept a refusal from your first choice designer and have a second and third choice in mind. It does not hurt to contact all three of your choices to see who will respond and who will respond once they discover that you have asked a competing designer to make your dress.
Not All Designers Are Open to Designing a Single Dress
If you find a designer who is willing to create your designer bridal gown, you may have to agree to give up the rights to the design. Simply put, a designer may want to reuse all or part of the design for your gown in another design or other gowns. He or she may also want to capitalize on your gown's design by reproducing it several times over. If you are okay with this form of flattery, then do not worry about it. If you would prefer that your dress be absolutely one-of-a-kind and never, ever reproduced, you may have to pay a loyalty (extra money for exclusive rights to your gown's design). The designer may also refuse to create your gown if you refuse to sign off on reproduction rights.
Do NOT Haggle Price with Your Designer
Luxury bridal gowns and couture wedding dresses are expected to come with a price tag. You are not only paying for a gorgeous dress from a renowned designer, but you are paying for the rights to say that the dress was created by the designer you chose and the designer who chose you. To haggle the price of the dress is to insult the designer, and that is definitely not something you want to do because it shows disrespect for the designer's talent and efforts. Whatever your designer asks for the price, honor it and he or she will honor you with an amazing dress.